Stop not doing it.

By: Erik Graves

I was recently presented a positivity award by November Project Chicago and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Lately, the people closest to me have commented that I’ve grown increasingly impatient and crotchety with age.

It was gratifying to return home brandishing that beautiful stick and say, “See this? I got this because some people find me a joy to be around. In your face, family!”

I kid. My family is quite tolerant (even supportive) of me and my fitness pursuits. Part of why I strive to be fit(ish) is to act as a positive influence for my kids. In fact, the day I received the award I had brought my daughter to NP for the first time. I figured what better positive influence than to subject her sleep-deprived, young body to early-morning, rigorous exercise and mild swearing.

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My current journey in fitness comes after 30+ years of higher than average activity. I started running when I was nine and played sports through high school. I stayed active in my twenties but things definitely slowed down in my mid-thirties when marriage and kids were introduced to my life.

People who knew me as an active guy would ask me if I was doing anything and I would say something like, “My kids are my gym.” This was a cop out for not actually going to the gym because “I didn’t have the time”…which is not true. I just wasn’t prioritizing my fitness.

That is the key of course. It’s not a ground-breaking concept. I didn’t think it up. I’m barely a consistent practitioner myself. November Project certainly helps though.

Once or twice a week I can “just show up” and participate in an hour of fantastic exercise with a crew of fantastic people. I do other things as well but I don’t look forward to them as much. Gimme the hugs, the hootin’ and hollerin’, the sweating and the exhaustion. I’m hooked.

So, in spite of being acknowledged for my alleged positivity, here are my crotchety responses to any whiney naysayers:

“It’s too early.” You’re drunk. No it isn’t. Go to bed earlier.

“I can’t get to work on time.” Shut up. Adjust your schedule.

“I’m out of shape.” WTF?!. That’s the point, jackass!

“It’ll be too hard.” Nope. It’s exactly as hard as you make it (which can be pretty hard if you choose).

Stop not doing it! Just show up!

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